“Moses returned to the Lord and said, ‘O Lord, why have you brought trouble upon this people? Is this why you sent me? Ever since I went to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has brought trouble upon this people, and you have not rescued your people at all.’” — Exodus 5:22-23 (NIV84)
Poor Moses! He reluctantly took on the mission God gave him to go back to Egypt and be God’s voice to the Egyptian nation that its cruel oppression of the Israelites was to end and it should set them free. Remember at the burning bush how he continuously tried to persuade God to use somebody else. But finally, and faithfully, he went back to Egypt. He shared the message of God’s deliverance with the people of Israel. He went to Pharaoh and declared God’s message to him. And what was the response? Pharaoh rejected Moses’ message. Pharaoh intensified his oppressive hand upon the Israelites by forcing them make the same quota of bricks while having to gather their own straw. The Israelites were threatened and beaten for not making their quotas. The Israelite leaders came to Moses and Aaron with a simple question: “If God is supposed to be delivering us, why is our suffering only getting worse?”
So, if you’re Moses, what do you do in a situation like this? You do exactly what Moses did. You take the concern, exactly as stated, to the Lord in prayer. God does not mind honest prayer! Even if that prayer is laced with doubt and confusion. He would rather us turn to Him for answers to questions that He alone can give than turn to other sources that can provide nothing. Look at Moses’ prayer. He used “why?” twice. He asked, “Why are you bringing more suffering upon Your people? … Is this why you sent me?” Moses wanted God to know that he didn’t understand why things weren’t working out as he thought they were planned. He told God that rather than being delivered, the Israelites were only facing more suffering.
Have you ever been there? Sure you have! You thought for sure that God was going to do this, or that, but nothing happened as you expected. Maybe you’re going through a time like that right now. The key is to turn toward God and not away from Him. God is not being unfaithful, just confusing. We simply don’t understand things from His perspective. We need to turn to Him so that we might understand why things are like they are and how and when He is going to fulfill His promise to us. In the verses that follow ours for today, God reassured Moses that the plan of deliverance was still intact. He assured Moses that soon Pharaoh and the people of Egypt would pay a high price for their harsh treatment of His people, who would soon walk out of Egypt as free people.
The key: Turn toward God and He will provide the answer that you’re looking for.